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Impossible? by Julian Havil

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Chapter 7

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CANTOR’S PARADISE

Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted counts.

Albert Einstein

Jane Muir began the final chapter of her delightfully written book Of Men and Numbers with typically elegant prose:

There are times in history—the history of a man as well as a civilization—when one can look back and say, ‘So this is where it’s all been leading. It seems so obvious now, why didn’t I realize before?’ A man or a civilization comes to the end of a road; the journey is over; all the wanderings and travels down dead ends and over highways have led to this particular place and suddenly he realizes that he ...

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